The writer of this Gospel was Mark, also called John (Acts 12:25), the son of one of the Marys (who was close to the apostle Peter in the church at Jerusalem — Acts 12:12) and the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). He accompanied Barnabas and Saul in their ministry (Acts 12:25) and joined Paul in the first journey of his ministry to the Gentiles; but he left Paul and turned back at Perga (Acts 13:13). Because of his turning back, Paul refused to take him on his second journey. At that time Barnabas separated himself from Paul, and Mark then joined Barnabas in his work (Acts 15:36-40). However, Mark was close to Paul in Paul's later years (Col. 4:10; Philem. 1:24) and was useful to him for his ministry until Paul's martyrdom (2 Tim. 4:11). He was close to Peter and was probably with him continually, as seen in the fact that Peter considered him his son (1 Pet. 5:13). From the early days of the church his Gospel has been considered a written account of the oral presentation of Peter, who accompanied the Savior in His gospel service from its beginning (vv. 16-18) to its end (Mark 14:54, 66-72). Mark's record is according to historical sequence and gives more details concerning the historical facts than the other Gospels. The entire Gospel is summarized in Peter's word in Acts 10:36-42.
John presents the God-Savior, emphasizing the Savior's deity in His humanity. Matthew presents the King-Savior; Mark, the Slave-Savior; and Luke, the Man-Savior. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are synoptic in portraying the Savior's humanity in different aspects, with His deity. Since Mark presents the Savior as a slave, he does not tell His genealogy and status, because the ancestry of a slave is not worthy of note. Furthermore, in contrast to Matthew, who presents to us the Savior's marvelous teachings and parables concerning the heavenly kingdom, and John, who presents His profound revelations of divine truths, Mark's intention is not to impress us with the Slave's wonderful words but with His excellent deeds in His gospel service. Mark's Gospel provides more detail than the other Gospels in order to portray the Slave-Savior's diligence, faithfulness, and other virtues in the saving service He rendered to sinners for God. In Mark's Gospel are the fulfillment of the prophecies in Isa. 42:1-4, 6-7; 49:5-7; 50:4-7; 52:13-15; 53:1-12 concerning Christ as the Slave of Jehovah, and the details of the teaching in Phil. 2:5-11 regarding Christ as the Slave of God. His diligence in labor, His need of food and rest (Mark 3:20-21; 6:31), His anger (Mark 3:5), His groaning (Mark 7:34), and His affection (Mark 10:21) display beautifully His humanity in its virtue and perfection, while His lordship (Mark 2:28), His omniscience (Mark 2:8), His miraculous power, and His authority to cast out demons (v. 27; 3:15), to forgive sins (Mark 2:7, 10), and to silence the wind and the sea (Mark 4:39) manifest in full His deity in its glory and honor. What a Slave of God! How lovely and admirable! Such a Slave served sinners as their Slave-Savior, with His life as their ransom (Mark 10:45), for the fulfillment of the eternal purpose of God, whose Slave He was.